Suspension Maintenance 02 CR250

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#1
I disassembled my 02 CR 250 the other day to see what kind of grease job was done to it after my 1st season of riding on this bike in stock trim. 1st off the swing arm bearings didnt have much grease in them, 1 of the seals looked like it was folded over when installed from the factory hence water entered and started the rusting process good thing I got to it in time. My question is will normal automotive wheel bearing grease (like quaker state makes) work for lubing the swing arm and the rest of the associated suspension bearings? It looked like 1 side had white lithium grease and the other side had wheel bearing grease in the swing arm bearings?
Thanks
 
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#2
Funny my swing arm bearing was folded over too from factory.Anyways,you should use waterproof grease,I use maxima grease blue.It works good.You can use automotive grease but wont repel the water and mud that good.
 
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#3
I believe it is water resistant but I will check. I plan on having the suspension apart the end of every season to go through it along with the steering just to be sure. Anywho most of the mud and water ends up on me more then the bike ;)

Thanks for the reply
 
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#4
most of the jap bikes have very little or close to no grease from the factory, at the swing arm and at the shock linkage, just enough to keep it from rusting till it gets to the consumer.
My 2000 KX ( i got it used) had the bottom, shock linkage needle bearings frozen solid. the upper two is nearly shoot.
whan I replace the 3 bearing set , I will install grease fitting for the linkage and for the swing arm , just like my DRZ had it.
actually the center part of the linkage where the bearings sit, has a groove machined, and it seems like that it also has a flat spot outside on the links where the grease fitting should go.
once you got the fitting you just pump some grease in time to time , and it will keep any water out nicely and if any got it it will surely force it out.

the main thing is when you drill the passage way for the grease fitting, make sure that all the aluminum shvings are removed.
the best time to do this when the old bearing is removed.
i normally use marine type grease (tube) from walmart.
don't forget your steering head bearings those needs to be relubed as well.
 
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#5
When you pump grease into the newly installed nipples, it will push the water out but will it wreck the seal? or cause it not to seat properly??
 

Yogurt

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#6
Frankly, as soon as I buy any new bike, taking it apart and regreasing it, is always the first thing I do. Like thirtyfour said, jap bikes hardly have any grease in them. I guess they skimp on the grease to keep their assembly lines cleaner. For instance, the very day I brought home my CRF, I repacked the steering stem bearings, both wheels, and shock linkange with grease. As far as "waterproof grease" that's bull. Grease and water don't mix, therefore all grease is basically waterproof. But some may resist dirt and derbis better than others. Just don't put too much on, as that will just attract dirt and dust.
 

tedkxkdx

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#7
One important part about grease is how much temperature it can take. I have seen grease that went to liquid a couple seconds after heat was applied to the metal it sat on. Some grease will hold up to heat. Don't know which brands, just something to consider.
 

Jaybird

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#8
tex, you make a very good point. If you use a "marine" grease, it will probably have the proper "drop point" for our application. Drop Point, is when the grease goes to a fluid state due to temp. Cheapo grease off the shelf probably will drop out much sooner than a good waterproof synthetic will.

Yogurt, you aren't really correct in your assesment of grease. There are indeed greases that are specifically developed to resist water and the washout it can create. Other greases will mix with water quite easily. Only the oil in the soap will not mix with water, the soap base can and will.

In a perfect world, a bearing housing should have no moe than 60% of it's total area filled with grease, however we are in a non-perfect world with dirt bikes. Sometimes it is far better to have the cavity always full to keep water from entering. And yes, if you use a zerk fitting, the excess grease will come out the seal, and it has to unseat the seal to do this. It is definatley a way to keep water out of your bearing housing though.

I would be mucho interested in knowing about a grease that resists picking up debris better than others...
 :think:

 
 
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#9
grease and water do mix!!! so does oil and water. it gives you "the milkshake" looking miture.

same thing with grease,
have you ever seen boat trailer bearing which had water entered into housing?
you get the same kind of milksake again but more dense.

with zerk (grease fitting) you need to use a hand operated grease gun and go easy applying the grease not to dislodge the seal, how ever on some places it would be imposible to do so,like where the seal is sandwiched between other parts like rear shock links.

I will install the zerk fittings and prob. never have to worry about it again, but others like to take it apart and just regresase every season, it is not a big deal 30-45 minutes tops with the rigth tools.
 

Yogurt

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#10
OK Jaybird, I wasn't really too positive what I was talking about. But Tex is right, usually you can find "Hi-Temp" wheel bearing grease. That's what I use, and it does have as you say a better "drop point."
 

mxer842

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#11
basic physics guys, a non-polar and polar molecule never mix. so all greases are waterproof. water can get in your berrings but your grease will never mix with water.
 
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#12
Just don't use moly grease, the moly additive doesnt resist washing out well. All these brands are not the same, but I notice the more exspenive the better, getting a $1.00 tub of coastal chassis lube at autozone wont cut it. Also if you pack the bearings full, the grease will work its way out when things expand and contract, and cause dirt sand to stick to your seals. I wouldn't imagine putting zerks on a dirtbike wouldn't be to good because of the oil seals, and the grease/dirt would collect in places that you cant scrub clean.
 

Studboy

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#13
Some bikes come with grease zerks on the suspension. I think that it's a good idea, in fact I bought some zerks and am going to install them on my bike next time I take it apart.

Also, the other thing that I have noticed about the waterproof greases (the Maxima anyways) is that they seem to be a bit more tacky than a normal wheel bearing grease.

Also, some greases WILL mix with water. I have seem it first hand. Maybe not all of it will mix, but most of it sure will!
 
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#14
alright , there is some conflict here.

I am no expert on grease but I can tell you from experience that water and grease will mix, unless my eyes deceived me when last time i had to change gresae seals on my boat trailer.

moly grease is recomended by honda on ST1100/street bikes rear wheel (shaft drive)after tire changes, where the hub slides into the gear housing, the splines will eat away becasue of water intrusion and rust, major problem/failure on STs

zerks are bad ? most ATVs use theme on the rear axle bearing housing.

grease attracts dirt and sand, I agree , yet people keep spaying their "O" ring chains with it, so they end up with a nice grinding paste.
 

Jaybird

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#15
Moly grease has nothing to do with it. Molybdenum disalfate is simply a mineral additive that is usually mixed in a lithium base. It is correct to say that moly and water don't mix...but that's like saying sand and grape juice don't mix. Sand and grape juice WILL mix, but the sand will never stay "in suspension".

Same with oil and water, they will mix...but the oil will eventually come out of suspension with the water. Prior to the oil coming out of suspension, the mixture is known as an "emulsion". The tar stuff you put on an asphault driveway to seal it is an emulsion. One applied, the water will evaporate out leaving the tar dry and happy on your drive.

Using a marine grease will insure that you have a product that was specifically designed to withstand a full mixing of water and oil.

Zerks are a good thing, but like anything else you must care for that set-up too. Every once and awhile you should purge ALL the grease out of the housing. Just keep pumping until you see plenty of the new grease coming out.
Even grease and it's base will not stay suspended indefinately. That is why you will see a puddle of oil on top of a can of grease sometimes...the oil has come out of suspension with the soap base.
Neglecting ANY bearing housing and not replentishing it with fresh, well suspended grease, can lead to the oil having left the soap base, and soap base is nothing but a friction creator. Soap bases you will find in an old neglegted housing have very little lubricity, yet it looks nice and thick. The oil has left it and it is useless.
I am not a grease "expert" per se either. However, I get paid for giving the same advise I just gave y'all....if that is any consolation.